Monday, October 21, 2013

Yes or No?

I've made this table topper for my mum for her 84th birthday this Sunday. She has a round table & I thought it would look pretty when she doesn't have a tablecloth on. Trouble is, although I like it, nobody else seems to, ds did say he liked the design, but not the fabrics, so not all bad, lol. As my closest friend is about 1000kms away I don't actually have a friend to show it to, so I really need your opinion.

 I have birthed it, rather than binding it, because I couldn't find a fabric that matched to use for the binding. I quilted it more than this, but it didn't sit well, there was puckering, so I undid most of the quilting. The flowers are all 30's fabrics, the green around each flower is actually a tiny white spot, not a solid.

So hit or miss?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My 'Carry On Vintage' Stall

I finally made it out to check on my little stall yesterday & to take a few things out to add to my stock. I've been laid low by a virus for nearly a month so it was really nice to finally be able to see how things were going. I was pleased to see I've sold a few bits & bobs. I made 6 pincushions & took these 3 out to sell.

Things are looking great at Tyabb Vintage Garage, there are some new stalls & lots of great stock. I'm trying very hard not to buy any more stuff, & to actually sell some, but I was tempted by a gorgeous little kitchen dresser. I'm not sure where I'll put it yet, but I'll find the right place.

If you're in the area do pop in for a browse.
It's open 10am - 5pm 6 days a week. Closed Tuesdays.

Tyabb Vintage Garage
1546 Flinders Frankston Road
Tyabb 3913

Facebook pages: 

My page for Carry On Vintage:

Tyabb Vintage Garage:

August Books

Two books this month. I recently watched the old Joanne Woodward movie, 'The Three Faces of Eve' & it reminded me of Sybil, a book I first read in the 70's. I still had the copy so I reread it. It was still as incredible as ever, 1 lady with 17 different personalities. The book covers her psychoanalysis over many years. It is certainly easy to see how her condition developed when you read of her upbringing, & sadistic mother, & aloof father. I Googled Sybil to see if there was any info on her since the book was written & I found an article claiming that the whole thing was a hoax simply made to make money. I don't know if that's true or not, but I felt the claimant, who has since written a book herself about the whole thing, may well just be the hoaxer cashing in on someone else's story. The fact that Sybil, her psychoanalyst & the book's author, have all since passed away means there is no one left to confirm or deny this person's claims.

To be honest I needed something light after Sybil as it is a very dark book so I reread 'Watermelon.' I LOVE this book, it's the first Marion Keyes book I ever read, it is her first book & it introduced me to the Walsh Family. Marion has written several books about the Walsh family, each time focussing on another of the sisters, & their lives, & I've loved them all. This is a very funny book, a real laugh out loud book. It's actually starts out a sad story, & you may shed a few tears as the main character's husband walks out on her the day she gives birth to their first baby, but the way she deals with this, & how it all pans out is very entertaining & not depressing. I just love Marion Keyes, she is an Irish author, I seem to have a weakness for Irish authors, & all her books are fun & funny.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Vote For Me, please!

I've entered a contest with the magazine Cloth, Paper, Scissors to win units for my sewing room. 

I'm currently preparing Rowan's old bedroom to be my new sewing room so they would be brilliant! 

Please check out the competition & vote for me if you would like to. The link is at the top right of the page.


PS You can vote daily. :-)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Latest Venture

I mentioned in my last post I had a couple of projects on the go & this is one of them.

I've had my name down for a stall at a local vintage business for 18 months, as it wasn't going to happen anytime soon when a new place opened a few weeks ago, I made some enquiries, & booked myself a tiny space, just big enough to fit a set of shelves. Normally I'd throw myself in the deep end & take on a massive project, but this time I decided to take it slowly, hence the small space. I've been buying loads of vintage stuff for years & I really have way too much stuff to use so the opportunity to on-sell some of my goodies came at a good time. I also desperately need to downsize my craft supplies, so hopefully this will be a good place to do it.

The biggest problem was finding just the right name. I've been mulling it over for weeks & although I had a long list, & liked quite a few of them, I knew I hadn't found the right one. Then last Thursday I walked into the kitchen & read the sign over the mantle 'Keep Calm & Carry On.' Then it hit me 'Carry On Vintage.' I'm a big fan of the Carry On films, especially the early ones made in the 50's & 60's, so as Pop Larkin would say, 'perfick.'

So name chosen, boxes of stuff everywhere to be sorted, time to get moving! To be honest I've been lacking motivation to do anything  much lately, so this seemed like the right way to give myself the kick in the bum I needed!

Being OCD I had to be totally organised. I put the shelves together, my dd Emma helped me paint the timber shelves, I covered the metal shelf supports with fabric to soften the look, chose the stock & set it all up. I washed everything that was washable, catalogued it & priced it. 

Come set up day I had everything packed up by shelf, so I was totally organised & was able to set up the stall in record time, & here it is!

I need to make a much bigger sign but I was against the clock.
I made the bunting out of remnants of vintage sheets.

I painted the shelves different colours & set them up with different themes.

Bedroom shelf.

Kitchen shelf.

I plan on making things out of vintage fabrics to add to the stock.

The stall is at Tyabb Vintage Garage 1546 Flinders Frankston Rd, Tyabb, VIC 3913
It is currently open 6 days a week (closed Tuesday) from 10am - 5pm.

I have set up a facebook page @
Please pop over & like me. :-)

Yay a tick off my bucket list!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Book Catch-Up

I can't believe I haven't blogged since January! I kept putting it off thinking I'd get Live Writer installed again but it just won't work so I'll use the blog post system or I'll never blog again!!!

I'll start out by updating my reading list.

 The last book I blogged was a biography on the Queen Mum, it was excellent, & as I was still wanting more royal family, I then read Magnificent Obsession by Helen Rappaport. This is a biography of Queen Victoria & I loved it. It made me realise I knew very little about Queen Victoria, & her life was very interesting.

Next was A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling. Hmmmm, to be honest if I'd read this book not knowing who wrote it, I probably wouldn't have gone in search of more of their books. It was a good read, definitely very well written, but it didn't really get me in, & I felt it ended suddenly without resolving everything.

Against the Current by Joan Hellegers. I read this book years ago & enjoyed rereading it. It tells the story of Adeline Keating. An incredibly interesting book, Adeline had an amazing life growing up in Bendigo in a prosperous family who lose everything. She travels to Melbourne to work, & ends up travelling the world for Myers, the first female buyer.

31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan is a whodunnit based on a true story. Set in New York four years before the outbreak of the American Civil War this is a real page turner.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg. I loved the movie & the book was great! The book is set in the 20's, 30's, 40's & 80's, moving backwards & forwards through time very successfully.

The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollope is one of my all time favourite books. I've read it several times & just find myself drawn back to it every so often. Obviously it is about the Rector's Wife, but rather than being a meek & mild woman, Anna rebels against her role, & the expectations of the church & the community. Her husband is distant & doesn't understand her need to retain an identity for herself. It is so well written, as are all Joanna Trollope books. I just love her work.

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde. I've read a lot of Katie Fforde books, they are lightweight romances set in England. I enjoy them. This one is about Sian moving to the country with her young son Rory to start a new life.

My Life in France by Julia Child. Love, love, love this book. I love the movie Julie & Julia, & this book tells the Julia side of the story. It is just so entertaining, Julia Child led such a fun & interesting life. 

The Vault by Ruth Rendell was a very different Wexford novel as Wexford has retired. In this book he is an advisor to a London Detective Superintendent. The case is a real mystery & keeps you guessing till the end.

Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher, a fabulous saga of a book stretching from 1935 till after WW2. This was classic Pilcher, I love her work. A brilliant story very well told. Judith is sent off to boarding school when her mother & sister travel to Ceylon to join her father. She is befriended by a school friend Loveday & taken into her family.

Liz by C. David Heyman. Well they may have made some very tame movies during this time, but the stars led anything but tame lives! I've always loved Elizabeth Taylor but this book proves she would have been a very difficult lady to live with! Mind you, she was an incredible friend to many people & would stand by them through thick & thin. This book covers her life from birth until the 1980's & her last marriage, this time to Larry Fortenski. A good read I really enjoyed it.

The same can't be said for this book, Going Too Far by Catherine Alliot. What a dog of a book. I've read other books by this author & thoroughly enjoyed them but I actually gave up on this one. The main character was a selfish, shallow cow & I wouldn't have cared if she'd fallen under a bus!

I decided to treat myself & read another Marion Keyes book. I've bought them all & I'm rationing them. :-) This one, Angels, is about another of the fabulous Irish Walsh sisters, this time Maggie. With her marriage on the rocks she heads off to stay with a friend in Los Angeles. Lots of fun characters keep you entertained & laughing. I enjoyed it so much I'm rereading Watermelon, Marion's first book & the first novel about the Walsh family. I laugh so much while reading these books. 

Next time I'll blog about some of the work I've been doing to the house, & I'll be sharing 2 lots of exciting news. :-)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Homemade Gifts

I only made two gifts this past Xmas, a pincushion for dd Emma & a bag for my lovely friend Pinky. I also made a bag for my dear friend Helen's January birthday.

The pincushion pattern is in Annie Downs book 'Some Kind of Wonderful.' 
I handpieced the whole thing. I tried machining the top & base to the embroidered section, but it didn't end well, lol. 

 The base.

I hoped Pinky, a US friend, would like this cute Aboriginal inspired fabric so I made a bag for her out of it. The fabric is much brighter than it looks in the pic.

I got this cute fabric at Spotlight last year. 
I made 2 identical bags, one for me & one for Helen. 
I'd seen a few pleated bags online & I really like them. I didn't have a pattern, so I made one up. I plan to make more pleated bags in different sizes.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Gamesroom

Just so you know I haven't just been sitting around on my bum doing nothing - ta-da!

The Gamesroom - I call it the playroom, but ds Rowan says that sounds childish, oh to be 16 again & so grown up.

This room used to be dh's study, if you're familiar with the tv show Hoarders insert before picture here:

Total disaster area with no floor visible!

His reason for the disaster area was that everyone dumped all their stuff in there. Funnily enough, when he moved out & took his stuff, the only thing left were the family photo albums.......

So an empty room, what to do? I thought it would be good to have a dedicated place for the Wii etc, also a quiet place to sit & read, or watch a dvd. I also decided to put in a bench for the printer & a cupboard to hold  stationary. The wardrobe holds all our games, photos & some old videos. I do like to be organised!

As you can see it's a pretty bland room, here we'd already ripped up the hideous aubergine carpet. I'm slowly getting rid of it all. 

The walls are blah coloured, & the original owners finished all the timber work with one of those awful 2 pack stain/varnish products which looks patchy & horrible. I will work my way through the house painting all the timber work white, it not only looks a lot better, it also lightens up each room enormously. But on the downside it's a bugger to keep clean, lol.

We bought some aqua paint for the main bedroom a couple of years ago, but it never got done, so I decided to use the paint in here. It was a lot darker, read brighter, than I remembered, so I added a lot of white, & ended up with a very pretty colour.

I wanted a timber floor but not all the work & expense involved so this is a cheat. See pics at the end of the post.

I went to IKEA to buy the white shelves & as always had to check out the 'as is' corner. The red lounge was a bargain as the cushions were dirty. As they all come off for washing I figured why not? It washed up brilliantly & I love it. Rowan & I spotted the rug at Masters & being total Anglophiles had to have it.

And finally, with the quilt we had to have, the curtains up, & the cute lampshade I also found in the IKEA as is corner, plus a lampbase from my fave vintage shop, it all came together.

The bench, again IKEA as is, it's actually a cupboard door plus some IKEA legs.

The cute little vintage cupboard I bought on eBay for $20 has heaps of storage & the top lifts up, how cool!

I've always made do when it came to shelving but I decided to splash out & buy something a bit swish. IKEA Hemnes was just the ticket, it's actually solid wood & I'm really happy with it.

Finally all the dvd's in one place instead spread between several shelves through other rooms.

Inside the wardrobe.

The Floor

The floor is 2 layers of ply, first we laid the sheets, cutting them to fit.


Then we cut the top layer into strips & laid them. We glued them & nailed them with a nail gun. We then undercoated them & gave them 2 top coats of paint. 

You could stain & varnish them, or just varnish them. We have jarrah through the rest of the ground floor & I didn't want to stain these to match, it's too dark. I thought a light stain would look bad against the jarrah, so decided to paint the floor white as a total contrast.

We have also decorated the main bedroom & Rowan now has it. Once he has his double bed I will post pics. I'm currently working on the 'library,' formerly a dead space between the kitchen & my sewing room. I have a list a mile long for improvements for each room so I will be very busy this year!

I should mention too, I don't get any commission/kickbacks from IKEA or Masters for mentioning them, worse luck!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas 2012

  Xmas got away from me, so this is a better late than never post. :-) 

 I used all my fave traditional stuff for the foyer.


  This doesn't show up well, but looked really pretty. I simply hung a range of baubles on mono filament thread from a piece of dowel. I wrapper tinsel around the dowel to cover it & then hung it from the window pelmet.

 I saw this idea on another blog & thought it was so cute. I love old ports & have quite a few. I've left it out & will set up another little vignette in it to enjoy through the year.

It was nice having a 'pretty' tree this year. I decided to go pastel with my tree, soft pink, aqua, lime, silver & white & I really loved it.

The dumb waiter makes a great place to display our village. Rowan set it up for me this year & it looked great!

I decided to put together a hamper of food & fun for Emma & her fiancée James. I picked up this gorgeous vintage cane hamper at my fave vintage shop, it was just perfect & Emma can use it in her sewing room for storage.

 Molly loves Xmas, (she's very fond of ham), so it's her fave time. :-)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December Book

Well it took me a month to read this book, all 946 pages of it. 1096 if you add in the appendix & index! The downside of this book, weight, boy is it heavy, the upside, one of the most interesting books I've ever read! 

It starts with the birth of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1900 & follows her incredible life until her death at the age of 102. 

Although I'm a 3rd generation Aussie,I've always been an Anglophile & I'm very proud to have Scottish & English great grandparents. I'm also a royalist, so this book was just my cup of tea, though I have to say this book is not just about the Queen Mother, it is also an excellent way to learn so much about the 20th century in England, so many things I knew a little about, suddenly became a lot more detailed.

One of the main things I learned was just what an incredible lady the Queen Mother was. When she married she expected to one day be the King's sister in law, of course when King Edward VIII abdicated she was suddenly the King's wife, & knew that her eldest daughter Princess Elizabeth was destined to be a Queen. King George VI would never have been as successful without his amazing wife. Her sense of duty was never-ending but she was also incredibly devoted to her family, & was a adored by her entire family. She was also a very loyal friend to hundreds of people.

I also came to understand a lot more about how the royal family works & just how much they do. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves the royals. Oh & I picked it up at All Books for Less for just $5!!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yule Greetings from Oz

'Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn't a sound.

Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.

We'd left on the table some tucker and beer,

Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;

We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,

While dreams of pavlova danced 'round in our heads;

And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,

Had just settled down to watch TV sports.

When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;

Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.

We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,

Snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.

Guess what had woken us up from our snooze,

But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty 'roos.

The cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,

And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.

Now, I'm telling the truth it's all dinki-di,

Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.

Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,

And encouraged the 'roos, by calling their names.

'Now, Kylie! Now, Kirsty! Now, Shazza and Shane!

On Kipper! On, Skipper! On, Bazza and Wayne!

Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,

I'll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!'

So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,

With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.

He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,

Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.

He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.

A jolly old joker was how he appeared.

He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,

And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.

His eyes - bright as opals - Oh! How they twinkled!

And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!

His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly

Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.

A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,

And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.

He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,

To position our goodies beneath the yule tree.

Surfboard and footy-ball shapes for us two.

And for Dad, tongs to use on the new barbeque.

A mysterious package he left for our Mum,

Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;

He strolled out on deck and his 'roos came on cue;

Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.

He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates-

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all, and goodonya, MATES!'

Have a safe & wonderful Christmas everyone.
I'm looking forward to the new year & already have a few resolutions in mind.

Monday, December 17, 2012

November 'Book'


Only 1 book to report this month, not because I haven't been reading, but because I read this one then started on a rather LARGE book, which halfway through December I'm still reading. At nearly 1000 pages it counts as 3 books but you'll have to wait until December books to see what it is that I'm LOVING!

Now back to November, I treated myself to another Marion Keyes, I try to ration myself because I just love her books so much I don't want to devour them all in a row, lol. This one was no disappointment, it was great. I just sort of fall into a relationship with Marion Keye's characters, they're just so believable & interesting. 

This story revolves around the launch of a new woman's magazine & the different people who have been employed to make that happen. There's Lisa who thought she was being transferred to a New York magazine & is more than a little shocked to find herself in Dublin, Ashling who feels a little out of her depth as Lisa's assistant & her best friend Clodagh who seems to have the perfect life with her husband & children, but does she? Of course there has to be a man & is this case it's Jack Devine the magazine's managing director. Marian's books make you laugh, & make you think, & just give you a really good story. The only bad thing is that they end!

My life has been a never ending rollercoaster this year so I find books the perfect escape. I always read when I go to bed & it usually helps distract me from whatever drama I've been dealing with that day. It doesn't always work but quite often does. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

October Books

3 books, 2 winners this month.

Ok Eat, Pray, Love, another book I'd heard of, but knew nothing about. I really quite enjoyed the first section, Italy, but I'm afraid India & Indonesia, Bali to be exact, weren't enjoyable. 

Basically this book is one woman's journey to find herself & tell us how wonderful she is along the way. I didn't think she was wonderful, I thought she was ignorant & shallow, but that's just my opinion & it's worth the paper it is written on, lol. I think it's simply one of those books you'll just love or hate.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth, another true story but this time about a woman in the east end of post war London delivering babies & home nursing in sometimes the most appalling conditions but with such a dedication you just thank god there are people like her in the world. Jennifer turns up to work at what she believes is a small hospital, but what turns out to be a small convent, with a team of midwives who also happen to be nuns. I watched & loved the tv series so was rapt to find there was a book & just had to have it. It's brilliant, funny, sad, moving, entertaining & inspirational. Now this is a book I can't imagine anyone not enjoying.

The Hot Flash Club by Nancy Thayer, this was a fun book. Four woman with very different lifestyles meet by chance & become firm friends. It soon becomes apparent that they can all help each other with specific problems & set out to do so. I've now found there are more books in the series so I look forward to tracking them down as I'd like to continue following their stories.

Yay I've caught up my book blog posts. I've just been so busy lately I haven't had much time to blog. I finished painting & wallpapering the main bedroom for ds to move into & I'm currently turning the 'study' into a playroom for the Playstation. I hope to get it finished quickly as there's a couple of pieces of furniture I really want to get painted this month so I can get into Xmas mode for December.

September Books

Three great books this month.
The Monster in the Box, another Inspector Wexford by Ruth Rendell. As always a great whodunnit, that kept me guessing. It always helps that I've watched so many Wexford movies that I can picture everything I'm reading. This is a strange story that really started when Wexford was a young officer, 2 unsolved murders, & even though Wexford believes he knows who the killer is there is nothing to tie him to the crimes. Decades later the same man Wexford suspected is back in Kingsmarkam & back on Wexford's radar.

Brother of the More Famous Jack by Barbara Trapido. I'll be honest, it was the cover that attracted me to this book, I guess that's true of a lot of books. An unusual book & I enjoyed it & went back & bought some more books by the same author. The story begins with 18yo Katherine & her friendship with one of her professor's & his family. The book spans a decade & the changes in her life. I found it in the $5 bookshop, more & more of these shops are popping up, & they've opened one in my little local shopping centre. Woohoo. They have a facebook page so you can see if there's a store near you.

An old favourite, The Mirror Crack'd by Agatha Christie, one of my all time favourite stories & I absolutely love the movie version with Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis & Kim Novak. The bitching between Liz & Kim is brilliant. Back to the book, it's a clever plot & I wonder if you'll guess whodunnit & why? In this one Miss Marple is home in St Mary Mead & her good friend Dolly Bantry features too. Her police detective nephew Dermot has been sent to investigate the murder of Heather Badcock & takes full advantage of his aunt 's gift for sleuthing. Even though it is a murder mystery as always there are some light-hearted moments to enjoy.